December 7, 2008
Welcome to Astronomyshop.org website and the internet astronomy store
for Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory (SRNC&O). In
this blog, I hope to keep you up-to-date on events in the daytime and
night sky as well as what is going on at the SRNC&O. This is where
I will be posting some quiet specials not listed on the main pages of
this website. Keep checking back!
This is the the second edition of this blog. Christmas season is
in full swing at the Nature Center and all around the world. I'm
seeing signs of the Christmas Holiday (or the Winter Festival if you
prefer) everywhere I look. Today was the SRNC&O paid staff
Christmas party. The Observatory volunteer party is December 28.
I get to go to THAT one.
The Saturday after Thanksgiving, the Observatory was open. With a
skeleton staff, there were over 150 visitors. I missed it and I'm
sorry. For so many years, the winter open times are clouded out,
snowed or iced out, or just plain too cold. In fact, in all the
years I've been involved with SRNC&O, I've never been to a
regularly scheduled winter program because of the weather. The
fact we had so many visitors is a real positive. It proves we can
draw the public even when it's cold. Of course, a virtually
moonless night and magnificent skies didn't hurt either.
I recently had a question about our pricing here on this website since
so many of you are used to getting GREAT DEALS from SRNC&O.
The prices listed here are what are called Manufacturers' Advertised
Prices (MAP). They are the lowest prices we can list according to
the agreements we have with manufacturers. They are the lowest
prices any dealer can advertise either online or in print.
However, a dealer can CHARGE whatever they wish. Give us a call
at 1-866-598-4406 for the best price on any astronomyshop.org
We have several specials right now. We have two demo Astro-Tech
80 mmm refractors and one demo Astro-Tech 102 on sale. They are
in virtually brand new
condition! All are apochromatic refractors and one even has a
carbon fiber tube. The AT80 ED,
normally priced at $549 is now $499.00. The AT80 LE
is normally $749.00. We have it priced at $649.00. This is
the one with the carbon fiber tube. The AT102 EDF
is normally $1195. It even has a FeatherTouch focuser! This price is a
fantastic one. Our demo price for this amazing instrument is
$1095. They are all a little too big to fit in a stocking
considering they come with cases but won't they make your astronomer
tickled to death!
Speaking of Astro-Tech, we have a complete set of Astro-Tech Paradigm
eyepieces arriving shortly that we'll be using as demos to loan out at
star parties and other events. The Paradigms are in focal lengths
of 5, 8 , 12, 15, 18 and 25mm. According to what we have been
told they are great eyepieces in telescopes slower than f/5. In a
scope faster than f/5, apparently, they start to break down.
We're looking forward to that demo kit...if these eyepieces are
anything like the Astro-Tech Titans, they are going to be a winner --
especially priced at a reasonable $79.95 each! Astro-Tech also
recently introduced a line of 1.25 inch light pollution and line
filters. Again, the philosophy of Astro-Tech "astronomy equipment
for everyone else" holds true here. The O-III and UHC filters are
priced at $69.95 and the others are priced substantially less than
that. More information about both these new lines from Astro-Tech
can be found here on the website.
The website has been updated to include our line of Storm Cases -- one
of the finest cases to hold delicate instruments on the planet.
We use several of these in the Observatory to store and transport
telescopes. If you don't know Hardigg Storm Cases...check them
out here on the accessory page. They are wonderful storage for
your eyepieces, telescope or whatever...and guaranteed for life!
We are reaching the winter solstice. In my other life, away from
SRNC&O, I am a horse rancher. That part of my world loathes
the short hours of daylight. Of course, as an amateur astronomer,
I love the earlier dark skies even though the nights are cold. We've
been having a tremendous string of gorgeous nights interspersed with
the normal clouds we get during the winter months here in Central
Oregon. Still, I look forward to the time when I don't have to
have my outdoor chores done before 5 in the afternoon.
I hope you all got to see the conjunction of Venus, Jupiter, and the
Moon over the tail end of last month and the first of this month.
I've taken to calling those evenings (which were fantastic except for
December 1) the nights of the Celestial Frown because that's what those
three bodies celestial beacons gave me an impression of. For
those folks who lived below the equator, it was a Celestial Happy
I want to make a habit of showcasing astrophotography by our
members. Last time, I showed a photo by David Haworth. This
time, I'm going to share a photo by our own Tracy Brown. When you
visit the Observatory or the Nature Center, you may have seen some of
his prints for sale. Below is Tracy's contribution to next year's
Mt Bachelor Star Party. This is the Summer Milky Way over the
majestic Mt Bachelor. We are using this as the official photo for
Mt Bachelor Star Party 2009. This print is for sale through the
Astronomy Shop store.
If you look closely,
you can see the red lights of those attending MBSP.
Until next time,
Keep Looking Up!
Thanksgiving, November, 2008